Senior management teams and boards make slow progress on diversity, study finds

A survey by Third Sector of 50 leading fundraising charities finds slight improvements in diversity over the past three years

Major charities have made progress on ethnic and gender diversity at senior levels in recent years but have some way to go if the sector is to be truly representative, research by Third Sector shows.

A survey of 50 leading fundraising charities has found that senior management teams and trustee boards are slightly more ethnically diverse and have a marginally fairer gender split than when Third Sector conducted the same exercise three years ago.

But voluntary sector figures said that, despite the progress, significant work was still needed on both gender and ethnic diversity at top levels.

The research found that the proportion of female senior managers among the 50 charities had increased from 44 per cent in 2014 to 47 per cent this year, and the proportion of female trustees had increased from 36 per cent to 40 per cent over the same period.

The proportion of female chief executives increased from 30 to 32 per cent over the past three years, but this was only in effect one additional female chief executive since the previous survey was carried out.

The proportion of non-white senor managers increased from 6 per cent in 2014 to 10 per cent this year and the percentage of non-white trustees went from 8 to 10 per cent over the same period.

The figures on ethnic diversity compare poorly with the most recent UK census, which found that 14 per cent of UK residents were non-white, although that figure varied considerably from region to region.

In London, where most of the charities in Third Sector’s sample are based and which is the most ethnically diverse region in the UK, 40 per cent of people were found to be non-white.

For the full data and for comment and analysis, read the full article here.

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